Founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz, the company that would become Longines really came into its own in 1860 when Agassiz’s nephew, Ernest Francillon, took the watch maker’s reigns. Under Francillon, the company moved to a site called Les Longines on the river Suze in 1867, trademarked the name Longines in 1880, and registered the famous winged-hourglass logo in 1889.
Of course, Francillon did more than see to the company’s marketing needs. He also oversaw technological innovations that would make Longines one of the world’s most respected watch makers. One of his first decisions was to introduce anchor escapements into Longines timepieces. Then, in 1888, he presided over Longines’s first certified chronometer.
By 1909, Longines had enough experience with small-caliber movements that it could devote more of its attention to the jewelry watches and wristwatches that would make it famous. Two years later, it introduced a barrel-shaped wristwatch that is considered the precursor of the Longines Evidenza line, which flourished in the 1920s.
As it turns out, the winged-hourglass was a prescient symbol for a company that created numerous timepieces for pilots. In 1919, Longines became the official supplier to the International Aeronautical Federation; in 1925, a Longines accompanied aviator Antonio Locatelli on a flight to the North Pole region; and in 1926, Walter Mittelholzer wore a Longines when he flew from Switzerland to Iran.
But the association really took off, if you will, in 1927, when Charles Lindbergh made his solo flight across the Atlantic. A Longines measurement device at Roosevelt Field in Long Island marked the moment he took off; a similar Longines timepiece at Le Bourget Airfield in Paris where he landed recorded the time of the flight: 33 hours, 30 minutes, 29.8 seconds.
While in the air, Lindbergh had a lot of time to think about a lot of things, including the perfect watch, which he eventually designed for Longines. His Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle, introduced in 1932, used high-frequency quartz regulators to aid in the navigation of transatlantic flights by showing both Greenwich Mean Time and the corresponding hour angle. Needless to say, a Lindbergh Hour Angle from the 1930s is one of the most collectible antique Longines wristwatches available today.
The introduction of a wrist chronograph in 1936 allowed the aviation connection to continue in 1938, when Howard Hughes broke the speed record for a flight around the world. By t...
Calendars, water-resistance, and self-winding mechanisms were added as features to Longines watches during the 1940s. Gold and diamonds became more common as post-war prosperity allowed Longines to go after the luxury market.
And then, in 1954, Longines introduced one of its most enduring sports-lifestyle brands, the Conquest. The handsome Flagship followed in 1957. A vintage Conquest or Flagship from the 1950s is as prized by collectors today as it was by customers in the mid-20th century. Another collectible wristwatch to look from the late 1950s is the Jamboree.
Key terms for Antique and Vintage Longines Wristwatches:
Chronograph: A watch that also records time intervals, like a stopwatch.
Chronometer: A watch that has been certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute not to lose more than four seconds per day, nor to gain more than six.
Escapement: A device that converts the pressure of a spring or coil into a fixed release of movement.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
National Watch and Clock Museum
Clubs & Associations
Other Great Reference Sites
Most watched eBay auctions
Recent News: Longines Wristwatches
Source: Google News
New partner of Casas NovasWorld Tempus, July 27th
Longines and Casas Novas signed an important long-term partnership agreement. The agreement enables Casas Novas to pursue its excellence targets as organizer of equestrian events and to gradually improve the quality of the competitions. Casas Novas ...Read more
Metal Takes InternationalSportinglife.com, July 26th
Heavy Metal (33/1) provided Mark Johnston with successive wins in the Longines International Stakes at Ascot. Sky Bet. Goodwood. Click here to bet. Heavy Metal wins the Longines International Stakes. Related Content. Sign up free to My Stable · Latest ...Read more
Heavy Metal won the Longines International Stakes at AscotSkySports, July 26th
Heavy Metal (33/1) provided Mark Johnston with back-to-back wins in the Longines International Stakes at Ascot. The Middleham handler sent out Galician to win the valuable seven furlong handicap at a big price 12 months ago and the four-year-old struck ...Read more
Kent Farrington and Blue Angel to compete at inaugural Longines Los Angeles ...Rancho Santa Fe Review, July 25th
The Longines Los Angeles Masters is a unique event combining the best of show jumping, glamorous entertainment and luxury lifestyle over four days of competition and show. Modeled after the Grand Slam in tennis, the Masters competitions are broadcast ...Read more
View from connections ahead of Saturday's Longines International Stakes at AscotSkySports, July 25th
Heartened by that effort, Baker believes Belgian Bill has plenty going for him in the Longines International Stakes. Proven on fast ground, the six-year-old has a favoured stands side draw in stall 29 and will be ridden by the in-form Ryan Moore...Read more
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan at Commonwealth Games for Longinesbollywoodhungama, July 24th
Abhishek Bachchan, being an ardent fan of football, recently was excited to attend the finale of the FIFA World Cup and he was accompanied by his father Amitabh Bachchan. Now, it is the third member of the family, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who attended a ...Read more
Field pitch perfect for AscotSportinglife.com, July 23rd
Jamie Osborne could not be happier with Field Of Dream ahead of the £150,000 Longines International Stakes at Ascot on Saturday. Sky Bet. International Handicap. Click here to bet. Field of Dream is set for a return to Ascot. Related Content. Latest...Read more
Tickets Now Available for Longines LA Masters Equestrian EventLuxury Travel Magazine, June 30th
EEM World announced today that tickets are now on sale for the inaugural Longines Los Angeles Masters, September 25th – 28th at the LA Convention Center in Los Angeles, California. Tickets may be purchased at ...Read more